Editor’s note: I’m excited today to bring you the first article by a new contributor to worn&wound, Sean Lorentzen. Sean’s a young writer with a love of watches and all things car related, whose work has been featured on the prominent car enthusiasts blog, Petrolicious. This article is actually the first in a series that combines his passions, looking at lesser known F1 inspired watches and the people that inspired them. Enjoy!
I am a man of two great passions. In the past several years, I’ve been captivated by the watch world, especially the vintage side. Within a few short years of my life, I’ve gone from a complete watch illiterate whose only experience with horology was a Timex Ironman I had when I was nine, to the type of guy who spends hours each day trolling forums and drooling over everything from mid-60s Breitling Navitimers to Wittnauer super compressors to funky old Squale designs (It can change on a day-to-day basis, something I’m sure many of you are familiar with).
I got bitten by the watch bug one day, and bitten hard. But my oldest passion, the love I’ve had in my life since before I could walk, is a die-hard, borderline unhealthy obsession with cars and racing. I grew up at drag strips, superspeedways, and IndyCar races, and every Sunday since I was 12 I’ve woken up, oftentimes at 3 or 4 in the morning, to watch the Formula 1 World Championship. And really, if I’m honest, it’s this passion that led me into watches.
Multitudes of articles have been written over the years about the link between watchmaking and motorsport, both from the perspective of racing fans and watch enthusiasts like us all here at worn&wound. It’s clear to see why, there’s a long history of cross-promotion, sponsorship, and technological sharing between the two, in particular with Formula 1. However, for the incredible amount that’s been written on the subject, it all seems to fall into the same few topics- Heuer in the late 60s-mid 70s and the connection with Jo Siffert, Jackie Stewart’s longtime ambassadorship for the Rolex Daytona, and a few others. That’s not to say these stories aren’t fascinating, or that the watches themselves aren’t unbelievable- in fact, a well-maintained “Siffert” Autavia is my grail of grails- but these stories have already been well-covered.
There are so many other connections that are rarely mentioned, however. Some truly incredible watches simply fall through the cracks in these articles, all of which have a design or sponsorship connection to Formula 1. To start this series, we’ll be taking a look at a peculiar watch from the early 70’s, the Heuer Jacky Ickx Easy-Rider.